Davy Fitzgerald's father hits out at personal attacks on Clare management and players
The reaction to the Clare hurlers' defeats in the league and championship on social media were disturbing, county secretary Pat Fitzgerald has said in his report to convention next week.
Fitzgerald, father of senior hurling manager Davy, said the level of personal attacks on the management and players "overstepped the mark".
Clare lost their Division 1A status after losing a relegation play-off to All-Ireland champions Kilkenny, while they also exited the Munster and All-Ireland championships early following defeats to Limerick and Cork.
Davy Fitzgerald has since recruited former Cork goalkeeper Dónal óg Cusack as a coach in an ambitious move that has gone down well in the county.
But the level of abuse from certain quarters that the team has suffered has been disconcerting for their long-serving secretary, words that chime with other counties in recent years, notably Cork, who have expressed the same concerns.
"Nobody deserves to be pilloried by people who haven't the courage to reveal their identity and hide behind pseudonyms," he wrote.
"To me, there are boundaries as regards acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Some of the postings on these sites overstepped the mark and instead of being based on constructive criticism were used as a means for personal attacks."
Fitzgerald writes that there were fine lines between success and failure in 2015.
"Conceivably, they could have won all three (league play-off against Kilkenny, Munster quarter-final against Limerick and qualifier against Cork) instead of losing all three which would have put a different complexion on their season entirely. That's not making excuses, but there's a thin line between success and failure and there is no disguising the fact that this year was disappointing".
Outgoing vice-chairman Joe Cooney will take over as chairman from Michael McDonagh who has decided not to seek re-election.